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Windows Me > Installing Windows Me

Upgrade: Installation


Upgrading a previous Windows installation takes approximately 30-60 minutes, depending on your system. When you insert the Windows Me Step-Up or Upgrade CD-ROM, the system will start the installation and asks whether you'd like to upgrade, choose Yes to start the process.

Although the Windows Me Setup Wizard looks more attractive than the wizard used in Windows 98, it's basically the same program. After checking your disk, the Setup Wizard starts. After accepting the License Agreement and entering the Product Key, the wizard starts collecting information about your computer. At this point, you will be offered an important option: Save System Files. If you follow the recommendation, you will need 125-175MB of disk space so that it can save your system files. This will allow you to uninstall Windows Me in the event you have problems. However, there are certain cases in which you cannot do this:

  • You are installing to a new directory
  • You are setting up a clean install with no previous version available

Follow the recommendation and choose Yes. If you choose No and the Windows Me install doesn't work for some reason, you will have to do a reinstallation of your previous Windows version; after wiping clean your hard drive. Windows Me will let you choose the partition to which to save the system files (if you have more than one) and you can always remove these files after you have been running Windows Me successfully for some time.

When your system files are backed up, the Windows Me Setup Wizard will prompt you to begin the file copy phase. Click Finish to start the process.

When Setup finishes with the file copy phase, Setup reboots and launches a DOS-based version of the Setup Wizard. This starts the low-level hardware detection, starting with Plug and Play devices. After a second restart, the Windows GUI of the Wizard returns, and Plug and Play hardware setup continues. After this, some Windows components (Control Panel, Start Menu, Help, etc.) are initiated/installed. Finally, Setup configures the system, which can take quite some time. Luckily a handy new dialog box displays the progress for the current component and the overall progress, so you have some more feedback on the progress of this phase as compared to the old Windows Setup. When Setup is complete, the system will reboot for the last time, and launch Windows Me for the first time.

Windows Me will retain the color scheme you used before, so if you changed any of the display settings, you will be happy to see that Windows Me doesn't force its color scheme on you. The first time Windows Me boots, the Welcome to Windows video plays. Here's also the first 11MB you can save. Find the file winme.wmv (\Windows\Options\Install\) and delete it! If you ever want it back, you can find a copy on the Me CD-ROM in the \WIN9X folder.

At this point, you should check the Device Manager to see whether all of your hardware was correctly detected and installed, and if there are no conflicts listed. To open Device Manager, select Start > Settings > Control Panel and click System. Select the Device Manager tab. If you have problems with drivers, try to get updated drivers from your manufacturer (Web site), or try using the Windows 98 drivers (not recommended - some drivers won't work). If you don't find updated drivers from your manufacturer, keep checking back every so often, many are still in the process of releasing drivers.

Device Manager

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